Should you talk to a certified plastic surgeon before you get pregnant to find out how this may change your body? You talk to your GP and OBGYN about the potential health effects of pregnancy. It’s not too much of a stretch to start thinking about ways to support your appearance and emotional well-being at the same time. Pregnancy, childbirth and nursing can be wonderful and life changing experiences. However, growing a new human takes a toll. It can come as a shock when your body is dramatically altered by motherhood.

Why Start Vetting Surgeons Now?

Identifying a board-certified plastic surgeon you like and trust takes time and energy. It might be a smart move to establish a relationship with a cosmetic surgeon now so you know who to turn to for help once you have your child. Your surgeon can talk to you about the most common body changes women face after childbirth and what cosmetic surgery can do to help. You can even start planning how to fit procedures such as mastopexy and augmentation into your budget and your schedule (both of which can become chaotic once your child arrives).

What Are the Top 5 Postpartum Changes?

Every pregnancy is different. If you had your first child at 22 and your last at 35, there’s going to be a big difference in how your body bounces back. You might experience any or all of the changes below — and some may be permanent:

Breast Size, Shape, and Position
Breasts get a lot of extra mileage on them from pregnancy and breastfeeding. You may be excited when your breasts start getting bigger as a result of pregnancy hormones. But that joy can turn to disappointment when your breasts begin to droop. It’s normal to lose some tissue volume in your breasts after giving birth — whether you breast feed or not. Your nipple position and the size and shape of your areolae can also be affected. Asymmetry in the size of your breasts may occur or become more noticeable. A certified plastic surgeon can recommend ways to restore your breasts to their previous position. You may even be able to achieve a better look than you had before by combining procedures such as areola resizing, mastopexy and augmentation with implants.

Abdominal Contours
One of the most common challenges women face after having a baby is the persistent belly bulge. Most women don’t have a completely flat tummy no matter how much weight they lose. But if your abdomen looks constantly bloated after pregnancy even with a good fitness routine, there’s something going on below the surface. The muscles and ligaments in your abdomen must stretch to accommodate your growing baby. They can be overstretched and actually separate late in pregnancy. When this happens, no amount of Pilates or “Abs of Steel” workouts will correct this problem. A tummy tuck is the procedure usually recommended to sew the muscles back in their proper position. If you have excess belly skin that is forming a drooping fold over your pubic area, this can be removed as part of the surgery.

Fat Deposits
Isn’t it annoying how baby weight hangs on after you have a child even when you get back close to your former weight? The most common problem areas are the hips, belly, and buttocks. But you may notice pockets of fat in places where it was never a problem before — such as under your chin.